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March 5, 2013

Reviving one’s outlook can be as simple as stepping away from the usual for a short while.  Stepping away can be a nap, a peace walk, going window shopping, sitting quietly and meditating.  The everyday things in life can overwhelmed us if we allow them to. When overwhelmed we take that out on the ones we love most without even thinking.  Renew the way you talk to people to the positive things about them, their actions and attributes.  Uplift those around you!  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  By taking action on these simple thoughts the world could be revived, renewed and restored to peace and understanding.

I have stepped away by going to a retreat for as short as a morning and as long as a weekend.  I have picked up my crochet needle and make scarfs, sown a strip quilt top or picked up make current book to read.  My daughter will take a day trip for destination dinning and shopping.  My son enjoys a predator hunt with a friend.  How do you step away to renew yourself?


Renew Your Thinking – Don’t be niaeve!

January 17, 2013

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January 8, 2013


Last fall my granddaughter requested a costume for Halloween to look like the character Sally from the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.  To accomplish this we found a pattern that looked similar to the picture Hannah downloaded for me; then I hit the scrap bags and boxes in the hobby room.

The pieces were assembled into squares and regulars large enough to cut the various pattern pieces.  It made it fun as she recognized the pieces left from garments I had made for her in the past.  It was time consuming but I must admit it was fun to great something out of pieces that were too small for a whole anything.  The above picture is the result as she was dressed for a theme birthday party near Halloween.

Usually my putting together of pieces is for Lutheran World Relief quilts.  See more about LWR quilts  at  Lutheran World Relief/Quilts.  That organization sends 400,000 quilts to refugee and others in need thought out the world.  More quilts are always needed to keep people warm.  I was reminded that there are places even in tropical countries that get cold at night in an article in the Lutheran Women’s magazine GATHER, January/February 2013 issue.  Also these snuggly creations can be donated to Project Linus (

If you are a seamstress with time and patients, creating a new garment from one you have grown tired of is an excellent way to make the old new again.  Children’s play clothes are soon out grown anyway so you save.  Taking the old garment apart while watching television does not make it seem as though as much time is taken in preparing to reuse the garment.

Do You Really Need That

December 29, 2012

Many people go shopping for “therapy”.   It is not just to go looking.  It is the quest for the good buy or to keep up with the “ Jones-es”.  Okay you are going shopping.  There is a precious designer T-shirt.  It is clothing which is one of the needs so that’s okay or is it?  Oh I’m hungry and there is an ice cream shop so you have a double chocolate sundae.  That is food and another need but is it really?  Do you really need it?  With the economy the way it is all of us need to re prioritize our wants.  Do you really need what you want?

Needs are things that are necessary to survive.  A want is something that you can put off buying.  What is your income?  Let’s make a budget and see how much of that the need/necessities require.  In reality you only need a few things to survive:  roof over your head, enough food and clean water to maintain your health, basic medical care and hygiene products, and clothing (just to remain comfortable and be appropriately dressed) and transportation to your job.  The money that remains after the necessities are taken care of is your discretionary money.

Everything that goes beyond the basics such as a big house, designer label clothes, fancy vehicle, fancy food and drink are all wants.  Does that mean we can have no more than those basics?  Of course we can have more if we save for those special things.

Read more about this subject at this website:

Here are some good illustrations of the difference in want and need:

Find out how to cure your retail hangover by checking this article out

Here is a worksheet for working out your wants and needs:

Revive Renew Restore – Changing Seasons

December 7, 2012

Big Red Oak 12.4.12

Today the sky is crystal clear and that wonderful brilliant blue.  The temperature here at 2:00 in the afternoon is in the lower seventies.  That wonderful time that calls us to be outside to observe, to stroll and enjoy the creation about us.  One would think that it is mid-fall but alas it will be the first day of winter in less than three weeks.  Most of the trees have not yet lost their leaves this year.  The red oak outside my window has some color.  In driving into the city the leaves have really put on their beautiful fall colors in the last two weeks.  There is nothing like those colors amid the evergreen trees.

At almost sunset the fresh dry air makes a light jacket feel good.  The north wind is brisk.  The sounds of the train passing on the tracks six miles away float to us on the crisp air.  Neighbors out playing or talking can easily be heard.  When the air is heavy with moisture you don’t hear these thing and the temperature feels warmer and the air is heavy.  The crisp clear air makes everyone feel good while the heavy damp air, especially when cloudy makes people feel blue.  Let’s put on a happy face and enjoy the beautiful fall day and pray for the blessing of rain.  As we enjoy the beauty of this season and look forward to the next and the next, remember to feed your yard.   If your yard is like mine some weed and feed would be a good idea.  The local feed store here provides information and service so you get the product that will do the job.  Check out their website  then visit them or visit your local lawn and garden store.
Read more…

Revive, Renew, Restore – Sew, Embroidery, Crochet……

November 27, 2012

Embroidery, crochet, and sewing (garments or patch work for quilt tops) is very exciting and gives me pleasure and a feeling of achievement.  Everyone should learn to sew on buttons and hem at the least.  Buttons come off and hems come out or the garment is too long.

From the time I was a child, I have tried my hand at various forms of needle crafts.  I do not claim to be an expert but I find them relaxing and satisfying.  As an elementary age child there was stamped cross stitch that I tried.  Those shaky and not too even stitches were a good place to start.  I tried to learn knitting and managed a stocking cap but I didn’t find that relaxing.  My mother was a wonderful seamstress.  She made all my school and play clothes and my younger brother’s shirts and our pajamas.  When I was a sixth grader I asked her to teach me how to sew.  We started with a simple gathered skirt.  Since mother was a home economics teacher Daddy thought she should have already taught me how.  From that first skirt my adventures in sewing went on from there.  My most proud accomplishments were a tailored suit for my husband and our daughter’s wedding dress.

Sewing on a button and hemming are two things everyone should learn to do.  To sew on a button do the following:

  1. Thread the needle with a double strand of thread that matches the garment or the color other buttons are sown on with
  2. Tie the strands together with a knot.
  3. Locate the spot the button came off.
  4. Remove any fragment of thread that remaining there.
  5. Insert the needle from the back side through one of the holes left by the thread or 1/8” from where the center of the button should be and through one hole of the button.
  6. Insert the needle down through either the hole either straight or diagonal from the needle (front to back).
  7. Insert the needle in the same place it was first inserted to go back up.
  8. Repeat step six and seven 3 more times.
  9. Move to the other pair of holes and do the same.
  10. To tie off, instead the needle from the back to come out under the button.
  11.  Next wrap the thread around the stitches twice.
  12.  Run the needle back through a loop to create a knot.

You can find great books on sewing at

Revive Renew Restore – The great tattoo and piercing debate.

November 20, 2012

Tattoos are very popular at the present.  This form of body art has come and gone throughout history.   It can be tasteful, over done or awful.  Even though, we have the right to decorate our bodies as we choose, those decorations can make getting and keeping employment a challenge.  It is within an employer’s rights not to hire an individual with tattoos or to require that all tattoos are covered as a requirement of employment.  It is very important to do serious thinking about getting a tattoo then where to put it and the design.  Each one of these factors makes a difference.  In a world where visual media is king, simply put:  tattoos are a huge distraction.

I know a young man whose father told him not to get tattoos he couldn’t cover until he had established himself in a career.  Dad has single theme tattoos.  The son did not heed his father’s words and has ink from his just below his ear lobe, down his neck and on his arms at least.  He looks like a sample board of various patterns.  As his Dad predicted, he has had difficulty establishing himself in the career he is very capable and talented for.  Check out this article from Burleson Consulting “Professional Dress and Tattoos” at the follow site: .

If you decide that a tattoo you will have, realize there are time, money and pain involved.  Do not do it on a whim!  Select a studio that is clean.  Since needles are used and ink remember there can be contaminated and you might get more than you are paying for.

In the November 6, 2012 edition of the local paper the Dear Heloise column had an article about programs offering referrals for tattoo removal.  Fax your request for a referral to have a tattoo removed to; Tattoo Removal, 210-495-7145.  Include your city, state, a return fax number or phone number.

For more information on tattoos and body piercing go to:

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